So how does one go about making happy Eggs Benedict with the perfect poach?
How many out there knew 16 April was National Eggs Benedict Day? Kind of an odd remembrance day, but when food is involved I am interested!
Eggs Benedict is that seemingly fussy entrée we like to treat ourselves to on the occasions we dine out for brunch. That creamy poached egg on top of salty meat, crunchy English muffin, and slurp-worthy Hollandaise makes for a dance of delight for your mouth. Throw in a glass of sparkling and it is celebration time at your place setting! Hey, sparkling before noon is perfectly acceptable as is the Bloody Mary. No judgment here!
Who created Eggs Benedict?
The origin of Eggs Benedict day is not really documented in our annals of history, but the name clearly matches that of a famous traitor. Benedict Arnold actually had short, but successful career in the Continental Army achieving the rank of Major General before all the bruhaha surrounding his downfall and defection. Some say this egg dish was named for him because it was his favorite.
According to What’s Cooking America, one report sites Lemuel Benedict as the inventor. He ordered “buttered toast, poached eggs, crisp bacon, and a hooker of Hollandaise” to help a hangover while staying at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. The maitre d’hotel loved the order and improved upon the recipe. It became a favorite menu item at the establishment.
Some even give credit to Pope Benedict XIII who reportedly had a bit of an obsession with an egg dish for health reasons.
Regardless of how it came about, it is a delicious dish with many incredible variations.
Eggs Benedict and The Perfect Poach
As we are well into our stay-in-place routines and there doesn’t seem to be a near-term end, why not take a little time to tackle a new dish?
Hey husbands! Mother’s Day is coming up and this would be an impressive brunch for your bride! Hint, hint! Check out the post on a “Simple Mother’s Day Menu” for inspiration.
Read on! This will not be nearly as difficult as you may think.
Eggs Benedict is basically an English Muffin, topped with Canadian bacon or ham, poached eggs, and Hollandaise sauce. It is an American invention with a nod to our neighbors and former foes. We all get along together when it comes to this dish.
There are many variations to this dish, but the poached egg and hollandaise are consistent. So let’s begin with the basics of the egg. It is not really too difficult to master the technique of poached eggs and they are an excellent source of comfort food protein any time of the clock.
Techniques for a Perfectly Poached Egg
If you search “poached egg recipe” in Google, you will likely come up with hundreds of recipes and techniques. You can swirl the simmering water, add vinegar to it or soak the egg in vinegar. Several instruct to keep the lid off the pan and others direct to put the lid on the pan. There are versions with silicone cups or plastic wrap or muffin tins as aids.
The variations can be overwhelming and incredibly specific in order to make the perfect poached egg.
I am going to limit the options to three. More than that involves time-sucking research.
I have included the option of adding white vinegar to the pan. It does not change the flavor of the egg. The acid of the vinegar helps to prevent or reduce the feathering of the thinner outer portion of the egg white which makes a mess of your water. A prettier poach if you will.
Another way to get rid of the nasty feathering is to strain the egg in a fine-mesh sieve. When the watery part has run out of the sieve, just roll the egg into the poaching pan.
Option 1: The Saucepan.
This option works if you are making one egg at a time.
- Bring a saucepan 2/3 full of water to a boil, then, reduce to low to maintain a simmer.
- Crack a very fresh egg into a small ramekin or bowl.
- Option: Add one tablespoon of white vinegar to the water.
- Stir the water in a circle to create a vortex.
- Dip the ramekin with the egg into the middle of the vortex and ease out the egg.
- Simmer for 3 – 4 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the poached egg and drain. Blot carefully with a paper towel to remove excess water.
Option 2: The Skillet.
Best to make four eggs at a time.
- Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and reduce heat to a simmer. Add one tablespoon of white vinegar to the water.
- Crack a very fresh egg into a small ramekin or bowl. Transfer the egg into a colander with small holes and let the thin liquid drain from the egg white. About 30 seconds.
- Repeat with three more eggs.
- Slowly transfer the eggs into a measuring cup or only one egg to start, if you are more comfortable.
- Ease the eggs into the water one at a time. Put the first egg at the 12 o’clock position dipping the measuring cup partially into the water to carefully release the egg.
- Repeat with the second egg at the 3 o’clock position; the third egg at the 6 o’clock position and the fourth egg at the 9 o’clock position.
- Turn off the heat, cover the pan and set your timer for 5-7 minutes.
- Beginning at the 12 o’clock egg, use a slotted spoon to remove the poached egg and drain. Blot carefully with a paper towel to remove excess water.
- Follow with the 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock eggs.
- If you need to make more than four eggs, transfer the poached eggs into a warm water bath (150 degrees F) to keep warm until time to serve.
Option 3: The Oven.
Quickest if you are poaching for a crowd.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Pour about 1 tablespoon water into each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin.
- Option: Spray the cups with a little cooking spray after you add the water to ease release and clean up.
- Crack one egg into each cup. You may want to crack the egg into a ramekin first in case a yolk breaks or shell gets into the bowl and then pour it into the muffin cup.
- Bake for five minutes, then rotate the pan checking the eggs. The whites should be soft, but not wet. Don’t let the water fool you.
- Continue to bake until the whites are set and the yolks are cooked to the desired runniness, 3 – 6 minutes more, depending on your oven.
- Run a butter knife around the egg cups to release and blot away any water on removal.
The third option does not give you the traditional poached egg shape, but it does save you some time. It tastes just as delicious as the traditional poach. Keep an eye on the oven eggs as they transform from runny to hard in short order.
Enjoy your Eggs Benedict with the Perfect Poach
Poached eggs are an essential part of Eggs Benedict. Otherwise, you would just have Benedict which is not nearly as satisfying. Enjoy Eggs Benedict for breakfast, brunch, or dinner. And remember any celebratory brunch day is just around the corner!
Pop a cork on some bubbly and make it an anytime celebration.
P.S. Remember Sharing is Caring. Email this link to friends or post it on Facebook or Instagram for your friends to enjoy as well!